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05 January 2009

An Lutheran-American Xmas Eve

The Xmas Eve Candlelight and Carols service: a right & proper time & place to greet Pride in our hearts' anteroom as it hangs its hat upon our imagined dignity.

a family, holding a hand-lettered sign, on a sidewalk by a stoplight amidst a TN big-box Xmas wonderland. i walk past, across a fast food parking lot, the only other pedestrian on Xmas eve, as a warm, light mist falls. traffic in the fading light. all parties feign nonchalance.

Xmas: putative season of humility. Our gifts are surely never given to impress, to inflate our own imagined goodness! So plump with self-satisfaction that we easily and unironically ignore our last nagging inclinations towards largess and contrition.

And the Xmas carols! Written for leaner, darker times? These songs, out of childhood, now echos and simulcrums of hope. The Culture of Now, superbowl and starbucks and more than 100 million cars in 50 states, already has its own answers, priced to move for the holiday season.

My pride helps me safely scoff.

  • In Cynic am i cloaked;
  • Untouchable;
  • Judging but unJudgeable:
i'm a culture-hero. Like a super-hero, only hip-er.

Rising above it all... (and whatever is it?) Is this why we drink and smoke and fuck? Our culture, historically lacking in uncommercialized transpersonal alternatives. Like fish into a cave. we've slowly blinded to the strength of our self-affirmations. Tag,we're it.

In pain, we suddenly question our inalienable rightness, our moral superiority. Recessions breed innovation; depressions are lulls in which listeners hear troubadours above the Now Culture Roar. Even then it lies, hungry, in wait.

Wine & Communion Wafers: to me the taste, give or take, of roman/spanish/dutch/german/english pillage and war, & the ovens of imperial entitlement. It sounds ridiculous until i try to "eat and drink - this is the body and blood of the lord god, given for you" with a stright face. No one else is laughing. A touch of evil, not unlike bitters, is useful in treating ethical constipation and moral flatulence:
  • a hint of naked envy;
  • a dram of guiltless gluttony;
  • an ounce of unapologetic lust;
  • a pinch of piracy?
Stomachics for our putatively immortal souls, purging us of a great excess of ourselves.

My favorite part of church is that we don't clap for each other.

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